Aerial view of Dahlonega square holiday lights. Photo by Jeremy Satterfield

Old Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega, Georgia. Photo by Jeremy Satterfield

Georgia's Magical Holiday Events

From holiday lights to train rides with Santa, experience the magic of the season at these Georgia events!

Twinkling lights, train rides, historic home tours and more fill the events calendar throughout the holidays in Georgia. These signature events are gifts the whole family will enjoy this holiday season.

Holiday Light Displays

Holly Jolly Jekyll tram
Take a guided tram tour of Holly Jolly Jekyll

Holly Jolly Jekyll

Jekyll Island has reimagined its holiday festivities to ensure families can feel safe while enjoying the spirit of the season. The island is home to more than half a million lights during the Holly Jolly Jekyll season. The Great Tree alone has more than 35,000, which is more per square foot than the NYC Rockefeller Center Christmas tree! Purchase tickets online for the guided tram tours that take place on select nights. Trolley riders will enjoy festive holiday beverages, music, and a one-of-a-kind tour souvenir! 

Don't miss the light parade Dec. 4, holiday fireworks Dec. 11 & 18, and a special drive-in movie presentation of "Frosty the Snowman" on Dec. 12 & 19, 2021. Check the Jekyll Island events calendar for a full lineup of holiday fun!

Nov. 26, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022

Gigantic wreath of lights at Callaway Resort & Gardens Fantasy in Lights
Callaway Resort & Gardens Fantasy in Lights

Fantasy In Lights at Callaway Resort & Gardens

Callaway Resort & Gardens' Fantasy In Lights is not only the South's most spectacular holiday light and sound show, it is one of the world's "Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights," as named by "National Geographic Traveler." In 2020, a scene titled Magical Field of Lights made its debut to mark the 29th year of this spectacular Christmas event! The Field of Lights scene is nearly two football fields long, featuring a Christmas tree more than 10 stories tall, making it the tallest Christmas tree in the South. Shop in the Christmas Village, and ride through the illuminated forest.

Plan your trip with tips from Explore Georgia's Guide to Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Resort & Gardens

Nov. 19, 2021 - Jan. 3, 2022. Before your trip, review the resort's COVID-19 precautions and frequently asked questions.

Family gazing at holiday lights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

The annual electrical extravaganza features spectacular light displays throughout the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The massive Tunnel of Light along with favorites such as the Orchestral Orbs, Glittering Galaxy, Radiant Rainforest and Model Trains continue to make the exhibition a must-see holiday tradition. 

The walk-through event will be held Nov. 13, 2021 - Jan. 15, 2022, with limited capacity and social distancing required. Masks are required indoors and strongly encouraged outdoors. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. Before your trip, review the garden's COVID-19 precautions and frequently asked questions.

Toy soldiers light display at Rock City Gardens' Enchanted Garden of Lights in Lookout Mountain, Georgia
Toy soldiers light display at Rock City Gardens' Enchanted Garden of Lights in Lookout Mountain, Georgia

Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights

This award-winning light extravaganza at Rock City Gardens features more than 30 holiday scenes that transform the gardens' natural daytime splendor into a nocturnal fantasyland. Explore the Arctic Kingdom Aurora Lights, the Magic Forest and more, while also enjoying holiday shopping and visiting with Santa. 

Nov. 19, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022. Reserved timed entry tickets must be purchased online in advance. Before your trip, review the garden's COVID-19 precautions.

Trees decorated with holiday lights along a path at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens
Winter WonderLights at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Winter WonderLights

This walk-through light show at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens features illuminated displays along a half-mile path that is certain to delight and inspire. Wander through the Garden of Delights, Candy Cane Lane and Cone Tree Plaza while you enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, and shop for gifts in the holiday market. The half-mile trail takes 45-60 minutes to complete and is fully ADA accessible.

Dec. 1, 2021 - Jan. 9, 2022. Buy timed tickets online in advance.

 

Find more lights in this list of 10 Holiday Light Displays in Georgia.


Festivals

Holiday lights on the historic square in Dahlonega, Georgia
Dahlonega, Georgia

Old Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega

Don't miss the Lighting of Downtown Dahlonega and Lighting of the Tree on Nov. 26, 2021, the Christmas Parade on Dec. 11, 2021, and visit with Santa various dates. Enjoy Christmas lights, carriage rides, music, wine tastings, extended shopping hours and more holiday festivities through Jan. 9, 2022. Experience the holidays in Dahlonega, which has been named one of the Top 25 Hallmark Christmas Towns!

Nov. 26, 2021 - Jan. 9, 2022

Family plays in the snow at Stone Mountain Christmas
Stone Mountain Christmas

Stone Mountain Christmas

Have a holly jolly Christmas at Stone Mountain Park, where the true magic of the season is in the air. Enjoy the glow of more than 2 million lights, festive music and visits from some your favorite holiday characters at Stone Mountain Christmas. Start a new tradition and create memories that will last a lifetime for your kids...and you.

Nov. 13, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022. Before your visit, review the park's COVID-19 precautions.

 

Explore more events & festivals in Georgia


Home Tours

Couple standing in front of the Christmas tree at the Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville, Georgia
Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville, Georgia

Christmas at the Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville

Embrace the smell of fresh-cut Fraser firs and chestnuts on the fire as Milledgeville's Old Governor’s Mansion transforms into a beautiful representation of what Christmas looked like in the time period before the Civil War. During Christmas at the Mansion, every room is dressed with authentic period decorations - from streamers in the children’s room to poinsettias, holly branches and gorgeous ribbons in other rooms and parlors. For an especially unique experience, take a candlelight tour.

Select dates Nov. 21 - Dec. 22, 2021

More: Celebrate Christmas Past with These Holiday Home Tours


Holiday Train Rides

Santa and Mrs. Claus on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Santa and Mrs. Claus on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Holiday Express in Blue Ridge

Enjoy a daytime fun-filled train ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Lasting only an hour, the ride is great for families, and all children get a traditional bell and a candy cane.

Select dates November through December 2021. Before your trip, review the railway's COVID-19 precautions.

Aerial view of St. Marys Express trail
St. Marys Express

Santa Express in St. Marys

On the Georgia Coastal Railway, the magic of Christmas comes alive during the Open Air Railcar Experience, when Jolly Old St. Nick himself and his elves board the train. Enjoy entertainment all along the way. Or, you can choose the Santa Special, which features an interactive, family-friendly adventure with heroes Mason and Molly on a quest to save Christmas. Santa makes an appearance along with the Snow Queen, elves, snow people and more. 

Select dates Nov. 26 - Dec. 31, 2021. Before your trip, review the railroad's COVID-19 precautions.

Santa visiting families on the Historic SAM Shortline Railroad
Historic SAM Shortline Railroad

Holiday Train Rides on SAM Shortline

Reserve your tickets on the Historic SAM Shortline Railroad for several special holiday train rides. Join the ride to Plains on Nov. 27, 2021, to see the annual Christmas Lighting, ride the Candy Cane Express, and more!

Select dates November through December 2021. Before your trip, review the railroad's COVID-19 precautions.

 

More: 8 Holiday Train Adventures Around Georgia


See How Others are Celebrating the Holidays in Georgia

Published: September 2021
Written by: Lesli Peterson